All-Star Showdown: Pre-race notes

NASCAR Champions Set To Converge On L.A. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 17, 2009) -- NASCAR champions from across North America will converge on southern California for two days of celebration, as activities kick off in and around Los Angeles ...

NASCAR Champions Set To Converge On L.A.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 17, 2009) -- NASCAR champions from across North America will converge on southern California for two days of celebration, as activities kick off in and around Los Angeles leading up to the postseason short-track showcase, the NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown.

Before racing gets going at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale, the top drivers of the NASCAR Developmental Series will be honored with an array of activities on Tuesday, Jan. 20 and Wednesday, Jan. 21.

Champions from each of the six regional touring series, including Canada and Mexico, and the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series -- the grassroots track foundation of NASCAR that encompasses short tracks across the United States and Canada -- were invited to participate in the pre-Showdown celebration.

The events will kick off with a welcome brunch on Tuesday morning, and culminate with attendence Wednesday night at the Los Angeles Lakers-Los Angeles Clippers NBA game at the Staples Center.

Other Champions Events scheduled include:

* Before they hit the track, the drivers will go wheel to wheel with each other and the media in a high-speed, go-kart challenge at K-1 Speed Anaheim Tuesday, Jan. 20 from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The K-1 Speed Anaheim features a night-time racing experience and is the only go-kart track in the U.S. with two tunnels. KXOL-FM Latino 96.3 will broadcast live from K-1 Speed Anaheim. In addition, NASCAR will host 25 residents of Covenant House California -- Los Angeles. Established in 1988, Covenant House California has opened its doors to more than 145,000 homeless youth who suffer from the trauma of trying to survive on the streets.

* The Champions/Media Dinner will follow at the Petersen Auto Museum on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The Petersen Automotive Museum is dedicated to the exploration and presentation of the automobile and its impact on American life and culture, using Los Angeles as the prime example. Encompassing more than 300,000 square feet, its exhibits and lifelike dioramas feature more than 150 rare and classic cars, trucks and motorcycles.

* Tuesday will wrap up with the champions taking in a behind-the-scenes viewing of the Emmy Award-winning "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" The ABC Television Network late-night talk show features a diverse lineup of guests, including celebrities, athletes, comedians, politicians and human interest subjects.

* Prior to attending the Laker v Clipper game Wednesday evening, the driver will first take part in a VIP trip to Universal Studios, in Universal City, CA.

One-on-one interviews interviews and photo opportunities with the champions will be available to the media. In addition, photos from each of the Champions Events will be available each day for use by accredited media on

2008 NASCAR champions scheduled to attend include:

* Matt Kobyluck (NASCAR Camping World Series East Champion)

The 38-year-old Uncasville, Conn., driver won his first title in his 10th year racing in the series. In the process, Kobyluck, a member of the Mohegan Tribal Nation, became the first Native-American to win a NASCAR touring series championship.

* Eric Holmes (NASCAR Camping World Series West Champion)

The 34-year-old Escalon, Calif., driver won his second NASCAR Camping World Series West championship in the past three years. Holmes became the first driver to win a touring series championship driving a Toyota.

* Antonio Perez (NASCAR Mexico Series Champion)

The 22-year-old native of Guadalajara won his first NASCAR title. Perez also made three starts in 2008 in the NASCAR Camping World Series East and earned his first career Coors Light Pole Award at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

* Philip Morris (NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Champion)

Just the second driver in more than 25 years of the series to win the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series more than once, the Ruckersville, Va., driver won the series by just two points -- one position over the course of the season. The 43-year-old Morris has 38 wins, 62 top fives and 70 top 10s in 81 Late Model division races over the last three years.

* Scott Steckly (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series Champion)

The 36-year-old from Milverton, Ontario, Canada, won his first NASCAR Canadian Tire Series championship. He collected wins in three of the first four events of the season, and led points standings all season. Steckly also made NASCAR Nationwide Series debut at Montreal on August of 2008.

* Brian Loftin (NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour Champion)

The 31-year-old driver from Lexington, N.C., won his first NASCAR championship driving a family-owned car. In addition, Brian and his wife also celebrated the birth of their first child, a son, in 2008.

The NASCAR Developmental Series is the umbrella under which all of the NASCAR series that lead up to three national series (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series) fall.

It includes the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, which encompasses all of the NASCAR-sanctioned short-tracks; two Modified Tours (NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour and NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour), a division that dates back to the beginnings of NASCAR; two international series (NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and NASCAR Mexico Series); and the NASCAR Camping World Series, the final step in the developmental ladder.

In addition, the best short-track drivers throughout NASCAR's developmental series compete in the postseason NASCAR Toyota All-Star Showdown. The sixth running of the event will be held Jan. 23-24 at the Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.), and will feature a 250-lap Camping World Series race, as well as NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Super Late Model and Late Model races.

-credit: nascar

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Drivers Scott Steckly , Matt Kobyluck , Eric Holmes , Philip Morris